Unit 6. Diplomatic protocol. Diplomatic etiquette. Diplomatic missions.

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Unit 6. Diplomatic protocol. Diplomatic etiquette. Diplomatic missions.


Task 1. Discuss the following questions.

1. How do you understand the term “diplomacy”?

2. What purposes does it serve?

Reading 1: Diplomacy

Task 2. Read the text below and compare your ideas with the given information.


Diplomacy is defined as an art of conducting relationships for gain without conflict. It is the chief instrument of foreign policy. Its methods include secret negotiation by accredited envoys (though political leaders also negotiate) and international agreements and laws. The goal of diplomacy is to further the state’s interests as dictated by geography, history, and economics. Safeguarding the state’s independence, security, and integrity is of prime importance; preserving the widest possible freedom of action for the state is nearly as important. Beyond that, diplomacy seeks maximum national advantage without using force and preferably without causing resentment.


Task 3. Find equivalents to the following words and expressions in the text.


a. main tool

b. authorized messenger

c. to promote

d. protecting

e. bringing about the offence

Task 4. Speak with your partner about the major goal of diplomacy, using the words and expressions from exercise 3.

Task 5. Translate from Ukrainian into English:


Дипломатія — це один з головних засобів зовнішньої політики держави. Її найважливішим завданням є створення системи засобів ведення переговорів та забезпечення мирних умов взаємовідносин держав. Дипломатія — це офіційна діяльність голів держав, урядів та спеціальних органів зовнішніх відносин, спрямована на досягнення цілей та завдань зовнішньої політики держав, а також на захист інтересів держави за кордоном.

Reading 2: Key Provisions of the Vienna Convention of April 18, 1961.

Task 6. Diplomatic relations were codified by the Vienna Convention of April 18, 1961. Read its key provisions and answer the following questions:

a. What is stipulated by the Vienna Convention?

b. According to the articles 22 and 24, how the mission premises and documentation should be treated?

c. What immunities and exemptions do diplomats and members of their families enjoy according to the articles 29 — 37?


The Vienna Convention provides a complete framework for the establishment, maintenance and termination of diplomatic relations on a basis of consent between independent sovereign States. It specifies the functions of diplomatic missions, the formal rules regulating appointments, declarations of persona non grata of a diplomat who has in some way given offence, and precedence among heads of mission. It sets out the special rules – privileges and immunities – which enable diplomatic missions to act without fear of coercion or harassment through enforcement of local laws and to communicate securely with their sending Governments. It makes provision for withdrawal of a mission – which may take place on grounds of economy or physical security – and for breach of diplomatic relations which may occur in response to abuse of immunity or severe deterioration in relations between sending and receiving States. In either of these cases – or where permanent missions have not been established – a framework is provided for the interests of each sending State to be protected in the receiving State by a third State.

Article 22 confirms the inviolability of mission premises – barring any right of entry by law enforcement officers of the receiving State and imposing on the receiving State a special duty to protect the premises against intrusion, damage, disturbance of the peace or infringement of dignity. Even in response to abuse of this inviolability or emergency, the premises may not be entered without the consent of the head of mission.

Article 24 ensures the inviolability of mission archives and documents – even outside mission premises – so that the receiving State may not seize or inspect them or permit their use in legal proceedings.

Article 27 guarantees free communication between a mission and its sending State by all appropriate means, and ensures that the diplomatic bag carrying such communications may not be opened or detained even on suspicion of abuse. Given the purposes of diplomatic missions, secure communication for information and instructions is probably the most essential of all immunities.

Article 29 provides inviolability for the person of diplomats and article 31 establishes their immunity from civil and criminal jurisdiction – with precise exceptions to immunity from civil jurisdiction where previous State practice had varied. Immunity from jurisdiction – like other immunities and privileges – may be waived by the sending State, and article 32 specifies the rules on waiver. Article 34 sets out the tax exemption accorded to diplomats along with detailed exceptions in respect of matters unrelated to their official duties or to ordinary life in the receiving State. Article 36 provides for exemption from customs duties on diplomatic imports throughout a diplomat’s posting.

Articles 37 sets out a complex code for the treatment of families and junior staff – where as pointed out above previous practice was varied and negotiation of a compromise difficult. Article 38 bars from all privileges and immunities, except for immunity for their official acts, nationals and permanent residents of the receiving State. These two provisions in many States drastically reduced the numbers of those persons more likely to bring into disrepute the system of privileges and immunities and were fully in accordance with the basic justification applied throughout the Convention of limiting immunities to what is essential to ensure the efficient performance of the functions of diplomatic missions as representing States.


Task 7. Match the words and phrases in the left column with their definitions in the right column:


coercion an individual who is unacceptable to or unwelcome by the host government
consent the use of threats or orders to make someone do something they do not want to do
disrepute suddenly catch someone and make sure they cannot get away
withdrawal agreement about something
persona non grata a situation in which people no longer admire or trust someone or something
seize the removal or stopping of something such as support, an offer, or a service

Task 8. Choose the correct word or phrase from the text to complete these sentences:


1. The Vienna Convention sets out the special rules which enable diplomatic missions to act without fear of coercion or ….

2. It is the State’s special duty to protect the premises against intrusion, damage, disturbance of the peace or ….

3. Immunity from jurisdiction may be waived by the sending State, and article 32 specifies the rules on ….


Task 9. Fill the table with the correct forms:


verb noun
seize seizure

Task 10. Translate the following sentences from Ukrainian into English:


1) Дипломатичні та політичні утиски диктатора були спрямовані на його ізоляцію від міжнародної спільноти. 2) Ту або іншу особу може бути оголошено небажаною до прибуття на територію дер­жави перебування. 3) Втручання у внутрішні справи країни перебування, зловживання дипломатичними привілеями та імуні­тетами, заяви, які розцінюються як нетактовні або образливі щодо країни перебування тощо, можуть бути причинами оголошення особи «небажаною». 4) Припинення діяльності дипломатичних представництв може відбуватися, коли дипломатичні відносини між даними державами розірвано і тимчасово припинено.


Task 11. a. Find the verbs in the text used for introduction of the information contained in the articles (e.g. provides, sets out etc.).

b. Work with a partner. Take turns explaining the provisions of the Vienna Convention. Use the verbs you managed to find.


Examples: The Vienna Convention governs the relations between diplomats.

Article 29 provides …


Language focus

Official documents are written in a formal, “cold” or matter-of-fact style of speech. Like other styles of language, this style has a definite communicative aim and accordingly has its own system of interrelated language and stylistic means. Almost every official document has its own compositional design. An official document usually consists of a preamble, main text body and a finalizing (concluding)part.The preamble is usually a statement at the beginning of the document explaining what it is about and stating the signatory parties. The main text body constitutes the central and most important part of the document. It consists of articles – individual parts of a document, usually numbered ones, which state the conditions on which the parties sign this document.The finalizing part comprises the signatures of the duly authorized people that have signed the document; the amount of copies of the document; the date.

Task 12. a) Appendix I contains part of the Vienna Convention of April 18, 1961. Read and analyze it from the point of its composition. Note the peculiarities of its language style and syntax.

b) You’ve been asked to participate in the conference devoted to the diplomats’ work, rights and immunities. Write a short report on the Vienna Convention provisions you read.


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